Bloomberg News

South Africa’s Malema to Appeal Court’s Hate-Speech Ruling

September 14, 2011

(Updates with Malema comment in third paragraph.)

Sept. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Julius Malema, the leader of the youth wing of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress, will appeal a decision by the High Court in Johannesburg declaring an anti-apartheid song containing the words “shoot the farmer” to be hate speech.

Malema will appeal to the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court against the Sept. 12 ruling, he told reporters in Johannesburg today. He said the league will also ask parliament to enact laws to protect the country’s history.

The song was “banned under apartheid and now it’s still banned under democracy,” Malema said, adding that the ruling by judge Colin Lamont was a way of “bringing apartheid back in through the back door.” “Boer” is the Afrikaans word for farmer.

“The courts still haven’t been completely transformed by democracy,” the youth leader said. “They need to know that South Africa’s Equality Act is there to protect all citizens and the judgment banning the song undermines the struggle for equality in South Africa.”

Malema is already facing disciplinary action within the ANC for bringing the party into disrepute by calling for the removal of the government of neighboring Botswana headed by Ian Khama, whom he called a “puppet of the West” in July.

Gwede Mantashe, the secretary-general of the ANC who testified in support of the song, said in an interview today that the party has no intention of carrying out a “war on whites.” He declined to comment on the disciplinary proceedings against Malema.

The ANC won’t stop people from singing “Shoot the Boer” because it has no control over what people do, Malema said today.

--Editors: Ben Holland, Digby Lidstone.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Latham in Johannesburg at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at

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